US hotels are on pace to generate $2.7 billion in revenues from fees and surcharges in 2017, which would top the $2.6 million the industry earned last year from such fees, according to a report from New York University School of Professional Studies.
The trend analysis by Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D., a professor at the school’s Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, found that new and higher fees — notably for cancelling reservations — combined with slightly higher year-over-year occupancy rates supported the prediction.
One category of fees that decreased, however, was charges for high-speed internet access, the report noted.
Hotel fees and surcharges emerged as a notable industry trend in 1997 and topped $1 billion in revenues by 2000, the report said. Industry-wide fee income has increased nearly every year in the past two decades.
Examples of fees include energy surcharges, resort activity fees, and extra charges for internet access, phone calls, business centre usage and room service.
Charges that have become increasingly common include fees for early check-in, unattended parking, holding checked luggage, and cancellation of reservations within a few days of check-in (typically two or three days).
The report noted a rise in complaints about “hidden” hotel fees, some of which are being investigated by state attorneys general.